2013 Subaru Legacy Sedan: A Mid-Size Ride With Practical Tech

Subaru gives its Legacy a mid-life refresh with styling tweaks, a new motor, and Eyesight driving assistance technology. We spent a week with the car in the rainy Pacific Northwest to see how well Subaru's Eyesight system and Symmetrical AWD work.

Subaru has an interesting history as a car company. As a subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries (the Japanese conglomerate equivalent of General Motors), the first Subaru vehicle came to life in 1954 as the 1500. Nissan managed to snag a 20-percent stake in Subaru and held onto it for over 30 years, until its merger with Renault where it was sold off to General Motors. Under GM ownership, we saw the Subaru Impreza rebadged as a Saab 9-2x. But the brand was left untainted otherwise. The company changed hands yet again to Toyota in the mid-2000s.

Subaru of America, on the other hand, started as a distribution channel for Subaru vehicles established by Malcolm Bricklin in 1968. In case you're unfamiliar with Mr. Bricklin, you might be more familiar with the Yugo, a vehicular plague he unleashed on the United States through International Automobile Importers (IHI), a company he founded. Fuji Heavy Industries managed to acquire complete ownership of Subaru of America in the mid-'80s to form the car company most are familiar with today.

Nowadays, Subaru sells over 300,000 vehicles a year in the United States alone. Toyota sells more Camrys than that, but it's a respectable number nevertheless.

That brings us to the focus of today's review, Subaru's 2013 Legacy, the recipient of a refreshed look, a new base motor, and new driver assistance technologies. Unfortunately, the Subaru Legacy 2.5GT with its turbocharged motor and manual transmission went the way of the dodo bird, and is no longer available. Drivers looking for more performance from a Legacy are left with the 3.6R that packs a larger six-cylinder motor and a five-speed automatic transmission.

We received a 2013 Legacy 2.5i Limited with the navigation and Eyesight driver assistance systems, and spent a week with it in the rainy state of Washington.

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  • soundping
    Subaru 2013 Legacy 2.5i Limited: $25,895 isn't that bad for a nice ride.
  • ukee1593
    Nice to see Toms doing car review now, especially with so many cars having computer based interfaces now.

    Very good to see manufacturers installing driving aids such as collision detection and adaptive cruise control now. These are the precursors to completely autonomous cars and the more advanced these systems get, the closer we may get to fully autonomous cars in the near future.

    My question is; when are manufacturers going to give us the option of installing a 3rd party tablet such as an Ipad or a Nexus 7/10 in the dashboard rather than putting up with their pathetic built in "infotainment" systems. I would definitely choose a car with just a blank space in the dashboard (plus charging port) for a tablet rather than buying one with a built in system. Heck I might even pay more for it. All we need is a standardized connection to interface speaker systems and steering wheel controls to the tablet.
  • apache_lives
    no.
  • ubercake
    But does it have a big back seat (if you know what I'm saying?)?

    Seriously, though, within the past 5-10 years I've found many mid-sized cars these days to be small from a height standpoint in the back seat. If you're over 5'9" and sit in the back, you have to bend your neck to fit. If populations are trending toward taller people, why are car companies making back seats for shorter people?

    If you want to have a vehicle where adults can sit in the back these days, they almost force you into full-size or CUV/SUV options. As a result, this seems to discourage carpooling. Maybe this is how they can push to sell more cars?
  • Onus
    Please stop this. Form a partnership with an automotive site for cross-coverage, but please stop direct coverage of automotive news.
  • thebigt42
    Needs a wrx or sti option :)
  • wysir
    I'm waiting for my BRZ to arrive in August. Such a long wait... =(
  • gxpbecker
    I am still sad to see the 2.5GT. The 07 Spec B was an amazing car. I am hoping the beef up that 3.6R or bring it in the 2.0GT fasion with their new turbo engine based of the BRZ's. (and redesign the car... still a bit ugly and this is coming form a person who has owned 6 subarus)
  • gxpbecker
    **Still sad to see teh 2.5GT go*
  • ericjohn004
    The only thing that worrys me with these types of cars is that what if one of these things fails? Or worse, what if it causes the gas pedal to be smashed or the brakes to be smashed while your driving? I'm sure they make sure these things are functional, but anything can happen with electronics.

    I love Tom's reviews. Your not going to find a better review site in the world.
  • tuanies
    Anonymous said:
    Nice to see Toms doing car review now, especially with so many cars having computer based interfaces now.

    Very good to see manufacturers installing driving aids such as collision detection and adaptive cruise control now. These are the precursors to completely autonomous cars and the more advanced these systems get, the closer we may get to fully autonomous cars in the near future.

    My question is; when are manufacturers going to give us the option of installing a 3rd party tablet such as an Ipad or a Nexus 7/10 in the dashboard rather than putting up with their pathetic built in "infotainment" systems. I would definitely choose a car with just a blank space in the dashboard (plus charging port) for a tablet rather than buying one with a built in system. Heck I might even pay more for it. All we need is a standardized connection to interface speaker systems and steering wheel controls to the tablet.



    They probably won't because of liability / legality problems. Scosche teased an iPad double din mount with amp but cancelled the product. The problem is tablets have no lock out while driving, which opens the doors up to legal troubles for them. We did just get the Parrot Asteroid Smart double din with Android 2.3 in and will have a review of that soon.

    Anonymous said:
    But does it have a big back seat (if you know what I'm saying?)?

    Seriously, though, within the past 5-10 years I've found many mid-sized cars these days to be small from a height standpoint in the back seat. If you're over 5'9" and sit in the back, you have to bend your neck to fit. If populations are trending toward taller people, why are car companies making back seats for shorter people?

    If you want to have a vehicle where adults can sit in the back these days, they almost force you into full-size or CUV/SUV options. As a result, this seems to discourage carpooling. Maybe this is how they can push to sell more cars?


    Its a styling trade-off. Sloped backs look better than boxy ones so its a trade off made to appeal make cars more visually pleasing. I'd always take a station wagon over a sedan though, crossovers are just more expensive station wagons with less practicality.

    Anonymous said:
    Please stop this. Form a partnership with an automotive site for cross-coverage, but please stop direct coverage of automotive news.


    The type of coverage we do on automobiles is completely different from the usual 0-60, skidpad and performance based coverage of automotive outlets. We still focus mostly on the tech.

    Anonymous said:
    I'm waiting for my BRZ to arrive in August. Such a long wait... =(


    Very jealous, great cars.

    Anonymous said:
    I am still sad to see the 2.5GT. The 07 Spec B was an amazing car. I am hoping the beef up that 3.6R or bring it in the 2.0GT fasion with their new turbo engine based of the BRZ's. (and redesign the car... still a bit ugly and this is coming form a person who has owned 6 subarus)


    The 3.6R is still an automatic though. I would love a 6-speed manual on the 3.6R. I wanted to buy a Spec B when they were new but the Subaru sales guy was so persistent that it turned me off the brand. The 2.5GT is still sold in Japan iirc. My best friend's dad has a manual 2.5GT wagon, loved that generation. I wish they still had manual wagons that aren't Outbacks >_<
  • basketcase87
    thebigt42Needs a wrx or sti option

    Please no. The reason wrx still means something is because it's not an "option" that they've decided to add onto every car in their lineup. Keep it where it belongs, as a small rally-size car.
  • tuanies
    Anonymous said:
    The only thing that worrys me with these types of cars is that what if one of these things fails? Or worse, what if it causes the gas pedal to be smshed or the brakes to be smashed while your driving? I'm sure they make sure these things are functional, but anything can happen with electronics.
    H
    I love Tom's reviews. Your not going to find a better review site in the world.


    I believe the brake should override the gas pedal on newer cars.
    Anonymous said:
    thebigt42Needs a wrx or sti option

    Please no. The reason wrx still means something is because it's not an "option" that they've decided to add onto every car in their lineup. Keep it where it belongs, as a small rally-size car.


    They've made Forester STIs in the past but the hot Legacy was the B4 Blitzen or just Legacy GT
  • g-unit1111
    This is pretty cool, I always like seeing new automotive tech. Maybe you could review the Dodge Dart next.
  • tuanies
    Anonymous said:
    This is pretty cool, I always like seeing new automotive tech. Maybe you could review the Dodge Dart next.


    They don't have one available in the PNW fleet. The 2014 Grand Cherokee Diesel is support to make its way up here this summer though...
  • sanilmahambre
    Nothing so special about this car in this price range. The opponents are racing ahead already!
  • gggplaya
    ukee1593Nice to see Toms doing car review now, especially with so many cars having computer based interfaces now. Very good to see manufacturers installing driving aids such as collision detection and adaptive cruise control now. These are the precursors to completely autonomous cars and the more advanced these systems get, the closer we may get to fully autonomous cars in the near future. My question is; when are manufacturers going to give us the option of installing a 3rd party tablet such as an Ipad or a Nexus 7/10 in the dashboard rather than putting up with their pathetic built in "infotainment" systems. I would definitely choose a car with just a blank space in the dashboard (plus charging port) for a tablet rather than buying one with a built in system. Heck I might even pay more for it. All we need is a standardized connection to interface speaker systems and steering wheel controls to the tablet.


    Yes, because that's not a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    (Police officer) - "So what was so important that caused you to cross lanes and kill a family of 5?"
    (You) - "I was playing angry birds."
  • RobAC
    Nice article.

    Good to see other sectors served by various tech covered.
  • tuanies
    Anonymous said:
    Nothing so special about this car in this price range. The opponents are racing ahead already!


    Its a car built for the purpose of AWD, some people need it year round and this car is still worlds ahead of other midsizes for AWD. But yes the others are racing ahead in terms of styling, infotainment, etc... The mid-size segment is very exciting and competitive IMO.
  • V B
    T G tried reviewing cameras, it did not work now cars, looks like grasping for the straws to save the site. What next? Baby's pacifiers ?
    Just saying...